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TTT #297 Margaret Simon on her Young Adult novel, Blessen - 05.15.12


42:23 minutes (29.1 MB)

On this special Meet the Authors episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, Paul Allison, Valerie Burton, and Gail Desler have a conversation with two teachers and recently published authors from New Iberia, Louisiana,+Margaret Simon and +Stephanie Judice/@sagaofthesetti.

Margaret has been a frequent guest on Teachers Teaching Teachers since the BP Oil Spill. Her elementary school school students published memorable poems and multimedia commentary on Voices on the Gulf, and Ms. Simons' students continue to publish on Youth Voices http://youthvoices.net/posts/user/3587

On this episode of TTT, we celebrate and explore the recent publication of Margaret Simon's Young Adult novel, Blessenhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0984891528/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

In this highlight from TTT#297, Margaret Simon explains that Blessen was born in a Writing Marathon led by Richard Louth, a director of the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project [http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/315 and http://goo.gl/ONqs7 ]. The character, Blessen grew real in a workshop with Sharon Arms Doucet [https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=inauthor:%22Sharon+Arms+Doucet%22 and after meeting a lot of Blessens as a teacher in New Iberia.

It may be a YA novel or a first-chapter book, but I agree with one Amazon reviewer who writes that Blessen is "a book for young readers, but an old reader like me can enjoy it just as well."

In this highlight from the videocast, Margaret reads "Piggly Wiggly," a chapter from her book, Blessen.

Margaret Simon is a teacher-consultant with the National Writing Project of Acadiana, Louisiana. In this podcast we explore Margaret's creative process, her use of a writing group, and her journey in publication. What questions do you have? Please add your comments below.

Margaret's friend and writing partner, Stephanie Judice, joins us as well. She published Rising last year and is working on Book 2. http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/B004YXL72O/ref=sib_dp_kd#reader-link Margaret writes, "She's the one who pushed me to publish."

An interesting review of Blessenhttp://revmoore.blogspot.com/2012/04/blessen.html

Stephanie Judice's Saga of Setti on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Saga-of-the-Setti/203566846334918

Margaret Simon's Blessen on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blessenbyMargaretSimon

Enjoy!

Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.

TTT #296 String Art with Fred Mindlin - 05.09.12


46:48 minutes (32.13 MB)

On this episode of Teachers Teaching Teachers, +Fred Mindlin/@fmindlin starts with string art, and pulls us into his world of anthropology, story-telling, collaborative learning, and more!

Fred inspires and entertains all of us in this episode of TTT: +Lacy Manship/@now_awake, +Gail Desler/@GailDesler, +Kelsey Shelhart, +Denise Colby/@Niecsa, +Paul Allison/@paulallison, +Chad Sansing/@chadsansing, and +Diana Maliszewski/@mzmollytl.

minecraft3

To get the full effect, take a moment to find some string before you listen to this episode of TTT. How much? Fred says, "About two meters or a little over 6 feet is usually a good length. Hold the string between your two hands stretched out as wide as they go, then add about 6 inches."

Fred explains that he was "inspired by the session we had with teachers using Minecraft, where we explored an online game world via another virtual world, http://edtechtalk.com/node/5102 and I was intrigued by whether it would be feasible to explore a meatspace game in our virtual Teachers Teaching Teachers forum." He sees "string games as a gateway to keyboarding and creativity or finger calisthenics, and computer keyboarding: media magic for tradigital storytelling."

Playing games with string is a human cultural universal. This ancient art form is surprisingly helpful in developing both the manual dexterity and strength needed for computer keyboarding. The approach I use for teaching string games to groups also provides a helpful practice ground for some of life's essential skills: creativity, resilience, cooperation, and storytelling.

And that's not all. Here's an excerpt and a couple of photos from a post that Diana wrote shortly after this episode of TTT:

There were some great quotes that Chad, a fellow participant, shared via Twitter. (I can't recall them all - they were things like "it's important to model failure" and "string games are 'digital' fun".) What I realized was how potent teaching string games would be to analyze your own teaching practice. Listening to Fred teach the group how to make a 3-pronged spear made me hyper-aware of how important detailed, clear instructions are, and the different learning styles at play. The first time I tried it, I failed. The second time, when Fred re-explained and added a few "notice this part here" tips, I did it! I cheered pretty loudly when I succeeded. My webcam wasn't working on Google +, so I convinced my daughter to take a photo of my accomplishment.
 

I made a 3-pronged spear! Here's proof!
A less complimentary shot of me, with my string jedi master Fred on-screen

Fred mentioned that there are several books and YouTube videos that explain, step by step, how to make different shapes. I think I need a person near me to give feedback (though the string collapsing in unrecognizable shapes is pretty immediate feedback too). I gave myself a goal - to teach the kids in my SK and Grade 7 classes how to make the 3-pronged spear and do it to music at a June assembly. I'm repeating it here so it'll be my contract to myself to try it out and report what results.

Enjoy!

TTT #293 Exploring Minecraft with Joel Levin, Chad Sansing, Liam O'Donnell, Denise Colby, and Diana Maliszewski 4.18.12


45:26 minutes (31.2 MB)

This episode of +Teachers Teaching Teachers was recorded in Minecraft. We were Livecasting from +Joel Levin's / @MinecraftTeachr 's server with +Liam O'Donnell / @liamodonnell , Chad Sansing / @chadsansing , +Diana Maliszewski / @MzMollyTL , and +Denise Colby / @Niecsa .

minecraft3

Watch or listen as newbies +Paul Allison / @paulallison and a colleague of his, James Joseph learn first-hand what's so engaging about Minecraft!

Consider this episode of TTT to be an "in-world" follow-up to these TTT episodes: http://edtechtalk.com/node/5001 and http://edtechtalk.com/node/4980 And also 21st Century Learning's recent interview with Joel Levin: http://edtechtalk.com/ett21_166

This was lots of fun and the perspectives shared by these Minecraft teachers about their students' lives in the game both profound in themselves, and easy to transfer to any classroom or learning situation.

Some ways to follow up:

TTT#295 - Discussing NetSmart w/ Howard Rheingold


49:06 minutes (22.48 MB)
TTT#295 - Discussing NetSmart w/ Howard Rheingold
May 2, 2012

NetSmartOur third of three episodes  of Teachers Teaching Teachers in which we discuss Howard Rheingold's New Smart: How to Thrive Online.  For this conversation, Paul AllisonChris Sloan, and Monika Hardy, are joined by  Howard RheingoldFred Mindlin,Valerie BurtonMariana RiosCristian Romero, and Jeff Lebow.
Paul Allison's profile photoChris Sloan's profile photomonika hardy's profile photoHoward Rheingold's profile photoFred Mindlin's profile photoValerie Burton's profile photoMariana Rios's profile photoCristian Romero's profile photoJeff Lebow's profile photo

TTT #294 Net Smart w/ Fred Mindlin, Mura Nava, Vinnie Vrotny, Valerie Burton, Sarah Rolle, Tinashe Blanchet, & Christian 4.25.12


45:00 minutes (10.3 MB)

Our second of three episodes of Teachers Teaching Teachers in which we discuss Howard Rheingold's New Smart: How to Thrive Online . Howard is joining us on May 2. For this conversation Paul Allison and Monika Hardy are joined by Fred Mindlin, Sarah Rolle, Mura Nava, Valerie Burton, Vinnie Vrotny, Tinashe Blanchet, and Christian.

Paul Allison's profile photoFred Mindlin's profile photoSarah Rolle's profile photoMura Nava's profile photoValerie Burton's profile photomonika hardy's profile photoVinnie Vrotny's profile photoTinashe Blanchet's profile photo

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